HOLLYWOOD (CBS) — The US Postal service Wednesday issued stamps depicting the late film directors Frank Capra, John Ford, John Huston and Billy Wilder.

The background art of the Capra stamp shows a scene from the 1934 comedy “It Happened One Night,” where a runaway heiress (Claudette Colbert) and a reporter (Clark Gable) compare their hitchhiking skills. The film brought Capra the first of his three best director Academy Awards.

Capra also won Oscars for directing “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” in 1936 and “You Can’t Take It with You” in 1938. He also received Academy Award nominations for directing “Lady for a Day” (1933); “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (1939); and “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946).

The background of the Ford stamp recalls a scene from the 1956 Western “The Searchers.”

Ford won Oscars for directing “The Informer” (1935); “The Grapes of Wrath” (1940); “How Green Was My Valley” (1941) and “The Quiet Man” (1952). He received an Academy Award nomination for directing the 1939 Western “Stagecoach.”

“The Maltese Falcon” inspired the background art for the Huston stamp, which depicts Humphrey Bogart holding the statue of the falcon. Huston won an Academy Award for directing the 1948 drama “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.” He also received Oscar nominations for directing “The Asphalt Jungle” (1950); “The African Queen” (1951); “Moulin Rouge” (1952); and “Prizzi’s Honor” (1985).

The background art on the Wilder stamp comes from the 1959 farce “Some Like It Hot,” which starred Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis as two musicians who seek refuge from gangsters by posing as members of an all-girl band, featuring a luscious singer played by Marilyn Monroe.

Wilder won Oscars for directing “The Lost Weekend” (1945) and “The Apartment” (1960). He received Academy Award nominations for directing “Double Indemnity” (1944); “Sunset Blvd.” (1950); “Stalag 17” (1953); “Sabrina” (1954); “Witness for the Prosecution” (1957); and “Some Like It Hot” (1959).

“With these stamps, we’re bringing these filmmakers out from behind their cameras and putting them in the spotlight so that we can learn more about them,” said Samuel Pulcrano, the U.S. Postal Service’s vice president of corporate communications.

Jean Picker Firstenberg, president emerita of the American Film Institute and chair of the Postmaster General’s Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, said “it is our hope that these forever stamps will encourageAmericans to see their classic movies that gave us a mirror on our country’s character and values.”

 (©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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